Tag Archives | Homeland Security

Homeland Security’s ‘Pre-Crime’ Screening Will Never Work

Alexander Furnas writes in the Atlantic:

Pre-crime prevention is a terrible idea.

Here is a quiz for you. Is predicting crime before it happens: (a) something out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report; (b) the subject of of a Department of Homeland Security research project that has recently entered testing; (c) a terrible and dangerous idea which will inevitably be counter-productive and which will levy a high price in terms of civil liberties while providing little to no marginal security; or (d) all of the above.

If you picked (d) you are a winner!

The U.S. Department of Homeland security is working on a project called FAST, the Future Attribute Screening Technology, which is some crazy straight-out-of-sci-fi pre-crime detection and prevention software which may come to an airport security screening checkpoint near you someday soon. Yet again the threat of terrorism is being used to justify the introduction of super-creepy invasions of privacy, and lead us one step closer to a turn-key totalitarian state.

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The Battle for the Soul of the Republic

RepublicRobert David Steele Vivas writes on Reality Sandwich:

The National Security Agency (NSA) mega-data center, combined with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) special relationship with Google, and the federalization of local police using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds to pay for monitoring both the locations and the conversations of anyone they wish — without a warrant — suggest that the government of the United States of America (USA)-from local to national-is no longer in friendly hands.

As a professional intelligence officer and a retired Marine Corps officer, I am deeply offended, personally threatened, and patriotically alarmed. Evil has triumphed across the United States of America. Every single institution — from academies to civil society to commerce to the government and law enforcement at all levels, the media, the out of control military-industrial complex, and the bottom-feeding non-governmental and non-profit organizations that suck at the federal government tits gorged with printed money — has failed to respect the Constitution.

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A TSA Official Admits Billion-Dollar-Body Scanner Program is Worthless (Video)

Via TSA Out of Our Pants!:

My last video demonstrated how easy it is to take a metal object through TSA nude body scanners undetected. In this video, I interviewed an actual TSA screener to hear more about how these machines are an epic fail. “Jennifer,” who asked me not to use her real name or face, has been on the front lines of the TSA’s checkpoints for the last 4 years.

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The TSA Precheck Program for the 1 Percent

TSA PrecheckBecause rich people sure do hate being inconvenienced. Via the WSJ:

Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle.

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called “Precheck.” It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.

To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Global Entry” program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.

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U.S. Homeland Security Buys 450 Million Hollow-Point Bullets

TacticalHSTPistolIs the U.S. Government expecting domestic insurrection? From Business Insider:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an “indefinite delivery” of an “indefinite quantity” of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK.

U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal.

The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”

This refers to the the bullet’s hollow-point tip…

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Has The TSA Ever Foiled A Terrorist Plot?

5506396804_dee871f844_nVia the Economist, Bruce Schneier points out what should be obvious:

In the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on September 11th 2001, the TSA has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist. Its own “Top 10 Good Catches of 2011″ does not have a single terrorist on the list. The “good catches” are forbidden items carried by mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people—the sorts of guns and knives that would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. Not that the TSA is expert at that; it regularly misses guns and bombs in tests and real life. Even its top “good catch”—a passenger with C4 explosives—was caught on his return flight; TSA agents missed it the first time through.

In previous years, the TSA has congratulated itself for confiscating home-made electronics, alerting the police to people with outstanding misdemeanour warrants and arresting people for wearing fake military uniforms.

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Homeland Security Manual Lists Government Key Words For Monitoring Social Media

Andrea Stone writes in the Huffington Post:

Ever complain on Facebook that you were feeling “sick?” Told your friends to “watch” a certain TV show? Left a comment on a media website about government “pork?”

If you did any of those things, or tweeted about your recent vacation in “Mexico” or a shopping trip to “Target,” the Department of Homeland Security may have noticed.

In the latest revelation of how the federal government is monitoring social media and online news outlets, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted online a 2011 Department of Homeland Security manual that includes hundreds of key words (such as those above) and search terms used to detect possible terrorism, unfolding natural disasters and public health threats. The center, a privacy watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued to obtain the release of the documents.

The 39-page “Analyst’s Desktop Binder” used by the department’s National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like “”attack,” “epidemic” and “Al Qaeda” (with various spellings).

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Anonymous Takes Down CIA Website

CIAVia AFP via Google News:

The website of the Central Intelligence Agency was inaccessible on Friday after the hacker group Anonymous claimed to have knocked it offline.

“CIA Tango down,” a member of Anonymous said on @YourAnonNews, a Twitter feed used by the group. “Tango down” is an expression used by the US Special Forces when they have eliminated an enemy. Attempts to access the CIA website at cia.gov were unsuccessful.

More than two hours after the initial attack on the site attempts by AFP to reach cia.gov were met with a message saying the Web page was not available. Members of Anonymous also claimed Friday to have hacked the website of Camimex, the Mexican chamber of mines, and posted emails taken from the site online …

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Senator Rand Paul Detained By TSA

Rand PaulThe TSA is denying this, here is what Tim Mak reported on the Politico below. This kind of reminds me of when the late Senator Kennedy was placed on the “no-fly” list, however, in Senator Paul’s case, given his vocal criticism of the TSA, this incident makes great political theater. (I wonder if his father will bring up in the next Republican presidential debate …)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was blocked from boarding a flight Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn., after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed. “I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said. “The image scan went off; he refused patdown.”

Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), tweeted out news of the incident, saying that there had been an “anomaly” with a body scanner. “My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville.

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